Children s Services Improvement and Business Support. Service Review 2013/14

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1 Children s Services Improvement and Business Support Service Review 2013/14 Service Name: Children s Services Improvement and Business Support Service Contact: Richard Williams Date of review: 2013/14 This document can be made available in a range of languages, on tape, in Braille, large print and in other formats. For further information please contact

2 Introduction This service review covers the services provided by Commissioning and Performance and Business Support within Children s Services. Included within this business unit are the following services: Paris Team Organisational Development (workforce) Children s Partnership Improvement Programme (CPIP) Business Support Senior Management Family Information Service 2

3 Paris Team: What is The PARIS team Support departments across Children s Services by maintaining the PARIS database which holds records of children referred to the service. The team provide the following functions: To develop and provide reports e.g. o Operational reports for staff to track work and manage cases o Management information reports for staff and managers at all tiers to check performance The development of new and additional functionality current developments include:- o The development of new assessment and case recording functionality for the Adoption and Fostering service; the development of a service planning module to track and record all expenditure linked to a child; and the development of a suite of forms for Hillside family assessment centre to record their work. Our goal is to have every aspect of Children Services using PARIS to record their work with children from support services like transport through to all the front line teams. Completion of statutory data returns to central government - key returns include the 903 submission relating to children in care; and the CIN survey relating to services and support provided to all children. To train staff and maintain the database there are over 400 frequent (daily) users of the system who need ongoing support to keep them up to speed with developments like the service planning module. The system is quite complex and users often need additional ad-hoc and refresher training. For example we have recently introduced new case recording standards and practice needs to be To administer the system setting up new users, updating user accounts, making changes to user defined forms Why is it Staff working within Children s Services depend on the information contained within PARIS to manage their cases and assists in fulfilling our duties to protect children and young people. The case records within PARIS are the Authority s central legal record of the decisions and actions taken in the discharge of the Authority s statutory duties to children. This is a Non Statutory Service but central to the delivery of the Authority s statutory duties to children and young people. What drives the demand? Internal: All Staff working within Children s Services and the need to deliver a system that supports the recording of all activity relating to children. External: Key partners include: out of hour s doctors, A&E staff, key GPs, all schools, designated roles within in health, commissioned services. Ofsted inspections and requirements to improve and maintain data quality 3

4 Training and support to a total of 700 users including all partners and less frequent users. How much does it cost to provide? How well are we providing it? Key achievements in the last 2 years Staff: 5 FTE Budget: 190,000 The simplification of the core assessment screens reducing time required by practioners filling out unnecessary boxes The development and implementation of a service planning module to capture all costs linked to a child that removed a paper based system. The development of a new set of forms for the family assessment centre to record all their work and thereby remove a paper based system and ensure that assessments are recorded as part of the electronic case record. The setting up and development of a fostering and adoption module to ensure that removes an antiquated system and streamlines the recording of all this activity. This change will also enable the reporting of activity that forms a major part of the budget recovery programme i.e. the monitoring of in-house foster care capacity, the recruitment of foster carers and the adopters and tracking case through to adoption. The introduction of a more flexible approach to systems training and the delivery of Paris training that pick up all agency and permanent staff. Underway The redesign of the assessment processes that will see the introduction of a single assessment and planning process. The migration of the system to a new windows 7 interface and mobile version that will allow staff to record work of case records offsite via mobile technology. 4

5 Children s Partnership Improvement Programme (CPIP): What is Why is it To manage the overall improvement programme put in place to address the areas for development identified by Ofsted. This includes the construction of the overall programme, the creation of the project plans etc to ensure that work is organised and effectively progressed. To evidence the impact of the changes to the satisfaction of the DFE, partners and stakeholders. To ensure that 7 projects deliver to agreed timescales and actions. The development of the Adoption service to ensure it is meets national requirements and the redesign of the Children with Disability service. To ensure that improvements are made so that all children and young people are safe. To deliver improved outcomes and manage the processes required to deliver changes to practice and the organisation of services. The CPIP is required under the terms of the notice to improve issues identified by the DFE. To avoid the risk of the Minister taking further statutory powers of intervention by the Authority. What drives the demand? Internal: All of children services staff, the current demand reflects the numbers of children and young people supported by Children Services (1,100) at any moment in time added to the number of children and young people about whom concerns are raised External: All people across the partnership including the voluntary sector. How much does it cost to provide? Staff: 2 FTEs Budget: 79,000 How well are we providing it? Key achievements in the last 2 years The successful completion of the inspection of local authority arrangements for the protection of children and an Adoption Inspection. Since the creation of the CPIP it has delivered: The implementation of the safeguarding hub which has led to o A 30% rise in the numbers of referrals leading to an initial assessment and thereby further improving the use of social work resources. o A 10% improvement in the proportion of cases re-referred o A 50% increase in the numbers of CAF cases initiated A wide scale evaluation on the safeguarding Hub produced positive feedback from stakeholders. 5

6 Clear thresholds for Children and Young People and over 800 people trained in its application. A new social work structure that has consistently reduced cases loads from 30+ to below national expected numbers. Removal of a backlog of 500 cases A further 10% improvement in the numbers of initial assessment completed on time. A further 15% improvement in the numbers of core assessments completed on time. Development of core practice standards and auditing tool based on the standards. A significantly improved recruitment and retention programme that has reduced Social Worker vacancy rates from 40+% to 12% for core front line teams. The auditing of all open Children in Need cases and Child Protection cases identifying the themes and remedial actions required. A 40% reduction in the numbers of children on protection plans linked to improved delivery and management of child protection cases. A further 10% improvement in the numbers of children attending an initial child protection conference within 15 days of the start of the investigation. The development of a career pathway for Social Workers in line with national expectations. Improved consistency and frequency of supervision in line with the new policy developed and implemented via CPIP compliance is at 75% in the main front line teams A unified Torbay Safeguarding Children s Board backed risk assessment tool. Improved commissioning arrangements for mother and baby placements that has improved the progression of cases through the court system. The development and introduction of competency based appraisals for all staff. The implementation of a first year of assessed practice and induction training for a further 12 newly qualified social work staff. The introduction of shared induction programme with health colleagues. The successful testing and evaluation of specialist assessment tools. The start of the development of a single assessment framework and plan. The re-design and launch of a single community directory jointly with the NHS which has already delivered a 50% increase in hits since April The piloting of a community hub approach. Improved governance arrangements for the TSCB. The launch of the poverty strategy. The development a commissioning for localism strategy. The successful launch of an outcomes star approach for the monitoring of progress towards agreed outcomes approach is now being taken up by voluntary organisations to evidence impact. 6

7 Organisational Development: What is To manage the commissioning and delivery of training to all Children Services Staff so that the outcomes of children are improved. To ensure that training is of a high quality, is value for money and improves practice. To lead a partnership approach to workforce development and planning so that we maximise the opportunity to joint training opportunities. Why is it To improve practice and outcomes for children by the delivery of high quality learning and development. To ensure that child protection training is delivered and accessible to meet the safeguarding standards set under working together To ensure professionals receive the nationally required expected training i.e. Social Work First Year Assessed practice, continuous professional development for qualified workers and core skills training. The training and development of training to social workers is statutorily required What drives the demand? How much does it cost to provide? Internal: Training for all children services External: Voluntary sector and statutory sector partners in the development and delivery of training Events Website Bookings advertised viewings April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Staff: 2 FTEs Budget: 311,000 How well are we providing it? Key achievements in the last 2 years A net cost reduction in the per place training through the introduction of a learning platform and choose and book system. The creation of electronic learning and induction based on the common core set of skills. The commissioning of high quality training for social workers and frontline staff 7

8 that have helped implement the safeguarding hub, improving core practice, supervision practice and case management. The expansion of the training programme and the development of specialist induction. The development of 13 members of staff into social workers (with a further 11 in the process of being trained). Management development programme for 10 staff to support planned internal recruitment and development of programme for social care staff. This is helped to permanently fill key practice manager vacancies. Development and implementation of a new supervision policy. Development and implementation of competency based appraisals and personal development plans. 8

9 Business Support: What is Why is it Business Support provides administration and business support across all areas of children s services and supports the day to day functioning of the whole department and specifically the front facing teams who work with families and children. Business Support Staff aim to free up front line practitioners from administration functions to allow them to have increased capacity for dealing with children, young people and families ion line with the Monroe recommendations. There is no statutory basis for providing business support, however the team support the statutory activities carried out across Children s Services. If business support services were not provided this would have detrimental effect on frontline practitioners who would not be able to spend the necessary time dealing with children young people and families as recommended in the Monroe Report. During 2012/13 a further service review was undertaken and a more streamlined Business Support Service was established from 1 st April 2013 The review aimed to : Compliment the reshaping agenda of children s services by ensuring that the Support Services provided meet the needs of individual teams; Ensure equity in support service needs across teams within Children s Services; Harmonise the work contained within the Admin support Service roles to allow for movement and cover arrangements to be efficiently provided across teams. Assess the necessary skill mix of staff contained within Support Services to ensure the right staff are provided in the right areas; Define the management structure within Support Services and across the support services areas; Identify workforce development issues; Deliver a high quality professional support service in a timely manner. This review enabled the deletion of 8 posts from across the service at an approx cost of What drives the demand? Internal: All departments across Children s Services External: Partnership Agencies including the Police and Health as well as the Voluntary Sector and Service Users. How much does it cost to provide? Staff: Principal Business Manager 1 FTE Schools Business Support: 8.44 FTE Localities Business Support: 9

10 13.39 FTE Commissioning and Performance Business Support: 1 FTEs Safeguarding and Wellbeing Business Support: FTE Service Support 2 FTE How well are we providing it? Key achievements in the last 2 years The role of Business Support is critical in allowing field work professionals to be out of the office and working face to face with clients. Without them it would critically impair our ability to deliver an effective service. 10

11 Senior Management: What is Why is it Strategic Direction and Operational Day to Day Management of Children s Services To provide strategic direction and operational day to day management of Children s Services What drives the demand? Internal: All departments across Children s Services, Corporate Senior Leadership Team, Elected Mayor and Elected Members External: Partnership Agencies including Police, Health and Voluntary Sector, Government Departments including Ministers How much does it cost to provide? Staff: 4 FTEs Budget: 404,000 How well are we providing it? Key achievements in the last 2 years The Bullet Points below are comment taken from the recent Local Government Group Peer Review of Safeguarding Children in Torbay. Clear and visible leadership Credible and coherent plan Enthusiasm and people being up for it Approach has introduced much needed systems, processes and security Early help projects and approaches Positive front-line relationships across agencies Positive Change has definitely happened Staff report the situation is safer than it was During its recent Inspection of Local Authority Arrangements for the Protection of Children Ofsted reported that confidence in the senior leadership team was wide spread and significant achievements could be measured in the re-design of the service and the focus on improving social care practice. Staff consistently report positively on the accessibility and visibility of senior managers and demonstrate an understanding in the need for change. 11

12 Family Information Services (FIS) What is Torbay Family Information Service (FIS) holds a wide range of information for families in Torbay including childcare, local events, leisure and sports clubs, support and advice. They provide information via an online directory, free helpline or face to face in Children s Services reception, at events and drop-in sessions. The FIS also provide outreach services, a member of staff will host drop in sessions at children s centres, schools, libraries and connections so that members of the public can access the service at a variety of locations. A member of staff covers the reception (full time) for Children s Services which was opened as part of a shop under Tor Hill House in August The online directory has been re-designed as part of the Children s Partnership Improvement Programme. The directory now holds information for all Torbay residents and combines community information, collected by Torbay Libraries, and Adult Health and Social Care information, provided by Torbay Care Trust, with existing family service information. It means that Torbay residents have one reliable source for information about childcare, support services, community involvement and activities in one place. Why is it Who uses the services / what is the demand? Overall management of records and database, and support for all the database users is provided by the FIS. This has included updating Communities records in addition to the FIS s own records. The FIS Manager has management access and administration rights for the whole directory. Under the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities have a statutory duty to provide a comprehensive, accurate and up to date information service. This should cover childcare and other local services for parents of children and young people up to the age of 20. Internal: Professional working with children and families: Social Workers Family Support Workers Children s Centres External: Parents, prospective parents and grandparents Children and Young people Schools Health visitors / Midwives Job Centre Plus advisors Childcare providers Activity providers Community groups 12

13 How much does it cost to provide? How well are we providing it? Key achievements in the last 2 years Staff: FTEs 3 Budget 73,304 The FIS is required to keep information about providers of childcare and other activities and services up to date. To do this the FIS must regularly contact providers at least once a year to ensure that the information held is accurate, they do this for: 1163 Services and Organisations (including activities, support and advice) 133 Childcare Providers (all Ofsted registered, including pre-schools, nurseries, out of school clubs, childminders, home childcarers) 52 Schools In total 1,348 providers for FIS management plus overall administration duties for 1,791 records in total Number of contacts to the FIS (not including the website): Year Tel Face Total Unique Visitors Uniqu 13

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